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A new technique for identifying and quantifying viral RNA in living cells, based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and developed by scientists at Rutgers University, can detect minor changes in RNA sequences that could give viruses an edge or make some people “superspreaders.”
If researchers could identify single cells with high viral loads in superspreaders and then study the viral sequences in those cells, they could perhaps learn how viruses evolve to become more infectious or to outwit therapies and vaccines. In addition, features of the host cell itself could aid various viral processes and thus become targets for therapies. On the other end of the spectrum, some cells produce mutated viruses that are no…READ MORE